Category Archives: History

Miss Coney Island Beauty Contest Winner 1924

Agnes Leonard – Miss Coney Island 1924

aGNES lEONARD MISS CONEY ISLAND 1924Love those 1920s bathing suits.

Though undated, our photograph is from July 29, 1924, at Steeplechase Park. Miss Coney Island would go on to represent the neighborhood in the Miss America Pageant. This was before each state had just one representative. Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #120 – Queensboro Bridge 1917

Upper Level Of The Queensboro Bridge – 1917

This view was taken by an official city photographer June 26, 1917 documenting New York’s infrastructure. The Queensboro was the first cantilever bridge over the East River. The photo is unusual because Continue reading

Divorce-Proof Your Marriage Part 2. How To Keep Your Wife Happy – 1923

 

The 10 Commandments For Men Wishing To Divorce-Proof Their Marriage – 1923

“The average woman is a bundle of highly strung nerves.”

We continue with part two on the advice given out in 1923 by New York City’s Legal Aid Society, Domestic Relations Division to help to save marriages.

Here is the portion given to husbands to insure domestic tranquility:

1. Be generous according to your means. A woman rightly expects liberal support from her husband. She is duly considerate of sincere effort and tolerant of misfortune, but differentiates sharply between ill fortune and inertia. Continue reading

Divorce-Proof Your Marriage. How To Keep Your Husband Happy – 1923

The 10 Commandments For Women Wishing To Divorce-Proof Their Marriage – 1923

“Men are but overgrown children…”

A serious couple100 years ago, New York City’s Legal Aid Society, had a Domestic Relations Division helping to save marriages.

Through vast experience sorting out marital spats, the Society accumulated 10 rules that if followed could make marriages divorce-proof.

A wife would know how to keep her husband affectionate and faithful. By the same token a husband, following a similar set of rules, could insure domestic tranquility with his wife.

Here are the 10 Rules For Wives from 1923:
Continue reading

The Post Office Considered This Magazine Cover Too Racy

Magazine Censored By The Post Office – 1914

What was considered obscene 100 years ago? The publishers of a monthly magazine, The International, devoted to fiction, music, drama and politics, were told the January 1914 issue could not be mailed.

Why? The magazine’s cover.

Here is the cover in question. Continue reading

The Wonderful Two Headed Girl – 1869

Advertising The Wonderful Two Headed Girl

The Story of A 19th Century Oddity – Millie Christine

Wonderful Two Headed Girl

While recently highlighting one of the silliest movies ever made, The Thing With Two Heads, we came across stories of other human anomalies.

Co-joined twins Millie and Christine (or Christina) McKoy were famous in the 19th century, sometimes billed as “The Wonderful Two Headed Girl,” “The Two-Headed Nightingale,” or “The Eighth Wonder of the World.”

The truth about this “two headed girl” was quite different than what was advertised. Continue reading

A Tour Of The Jacob Ruppert Brewery – 1939

How Beer Was Made At The Jacob Ruppert Brewery

Ruppert Brewery 3rd Ave 91st St

Massive fortress-like building of the Ruppert Brewery Third Avenue 91st St. 1940  photo: NYC Municpal Archives

Jacob Ruppert is mainly recognized as the man who bought Babe Ruth from the Red Sox in 1919 forever changing baseball. With that one transaction, Ruppert, the Yankees co-owner and his management team began a dynasty.

To older New Yorkers the name Ruppert also meant beer. The Ruppert Brewery was between 91st and 92nd Street from Second to Third Avenue. Continue reading

Lou Gehrig’s Farewell Speech July 4, 1939

“Did My Speech Sound Silly? Did it?”

Lou Gehrig to a friend minutes after making his “Luckiest Man” speech on July 4, 1939, Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day.

Gehrig and Ruth at Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day July 4 1939 photo Binghampton NewsEarly in the day before being honored at Yankee Stadium, Lou Gehrig told a reporter, “There hasn’t been a day since I came up that I wasn’t anxious to get in uniform and out on the field. But today I wish I was anywhere but in this stadium.”

For the ceremony Lou Gehrig was standing on the field for one hour in between games of a doubleheader with the Washington Senators, as accolades and gifts descended upon him.

Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, Postmaster James Farley, Yankee general manager Ed Barrow and current and former teammates and opponents were there. Besides gifts, they all gave Gehrig the one thing he did not want – sympathy. Continue reading

American Magazine Advertising In 1947

50 Advertisements From The 1947 Saturday Evening Post

Champion spark plugs Saturday Evening Post 1947Maybe advertising is not an accurate portrayal of what America is or ever was. But it shines a light on American dreams, living the good life and most of all consumerism.  Today we’re turning back the clock to just after World War II.

Saeurday Evening Post 1947All the ads appear in the February 8, 1947 Saturday Evening Post, a bastion of conservative American values.

American soldiers returning home to a prosperous economy. A baby boom follows. Spend, America, spend.

Ajax CombOne thing you’ll notice if you read the fine print: EVERYTHING was “Made in America.” Everything. Even a simple comb. Yes, Ajax comb company took out a small ad in the magazine that must have cost them the equivalent of at least 500 combs. It’s the sort of item that today would only be made in China, as we’ve decimated our ability to produce our own goods. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #96 – An Interview With Her Sexcellency, Sally Rand

The Lady With The Fans, Her Sexcellency Sally Rand

Sally Rand c 1928

Sally Rand bubble dance  photo by Ziegfeld Follies glamorist Alfred Cheney Johnston

Sally Rand photo Daily NewsEarlier in 2020, History Channel’s American Pickers featured a show about buying Sally Rand’s personal memorabilia. Most viewers were probably perplexed as to why host Danielle Colby was so excited. In terms of forgotten superstars, Sally Rand, (born Hattie Helen Gould Beck, 1904-1979) would rank pretty high today. Not so for Ms. Colby who understands and admires the artistry that Sally Rand created. Continue reading